Stretching is an excellent exercise you can do for your health. In the trucking industry, people talk a lot about PM — preventive maintenance — for your equipment, to keep it running smoothly.
But what about the most important PM, or as I call it, PPM (personal preventive maintenance)?
Spending long periods of time sitting behind the wheel, then jumping out of your truck and calling on your body to perform tasks — like pulling up your truck’s hood, landing gear or fifth-wheel pin — without warming up could result in injuries.
Simple yet effective stretching moves can help prepare your body for these tasks, not to mention improving your balance and preventing falls in icy conditions by increasing your flexibility.
Williams back exercises, also known as Williams flexion or lumbar exercises, have been around forever. They’re simple, tried and true, and best of all, they can be performed in your bunk.
- Lie on your back in your bunk.
- Bend both knees up and put your feet flat on the mattress.
- Slowly bring both knees up towards your chest and grab your knees with your hands.
- Gently pull your knees up close to your chest.
- Slowly allow your knees to lower back down to the starting position.
How often should you engage in a stretching routine, and how long do you hold each stretch? According to American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), stretching exercises are recommended at least two or three times a week; hold each stretch for 15-20 seconds.
Flexibility stretching exercises are highly recommended for all major muscle-tendon groups, including the neck, shoulders, chest, trunk, lower back, hips and legs. Stretching has also been shown to help relieve arthritis, back and knee pain.
A complaint I hear the most many drivers is that they’re having pain in their sciatica. This can be very painful, and it can cause serious injury if not treated. To see an easy to follow stretch that might help, watch this video at www.spine-health.com/video/scissor-hamstring-stretch-low-back-pain-and-sciatica-relief-video.
Please be sure to breathe as you go through your stretching routine. To receive more help and videos about exercises and warm-up, email me at [email protected].
Thanks for reading!
Known as The Trucker Trainer, Bob Perry has played a critical role in the paradigm shift of regulatory agencies, private and public sector entities, and consumers to understand the driver health challenge. Perry can be reached at [email protected].
Bob Perry has spent nearly the past four decades on a mission to educate professional drivers and share life-changing products and services to help them live healthier lives while on the road. Recognized throughout the transportation industry, from bus drivers to over-the-road professional drivers, Bob Perry has played an important role in creating a paradigm shift helping regulatory agencies, private and public sector entities, and consumers understand the current health challenges of the professional driver. He has participated as a wellness advocate in several roundtable discussions, large audience groups and small forums as well as going “curbside” through a national truck stop tour.
Bob’s articles have been featured in The Trucker and a number of other national transportation industry publications and is the host of a weekly wellness call produced by Rolling Strong. Bob has been a regular guest on RedEye Radio and Land-Line Radio, and is often an invited guest on Sirius radio shows. He has been featured in the New York Times, Men’s Health Magazine, Drug Store News, American Road Magazine, WSJ, NPR, ABC National Radio, as well as hundreds of daily newspapers. He has appeared on television news shows across the nation, including a featured TV segment on ABC NightLine News.